Midpen staff operate a remote control mower to create defensible space at Pulgas Ridge Preserve. (Leigh Ann Gessner)

Wildland Fire Resiliency

Midpen staff operate a remote control mower to create defensible space at Pulgas Ridge Preserve. (Leigh Ann Gessner)

Wildland fire prevention, preparation and response are part of Midpen's ongoing land stewardship. We reduce wildland fire severity and risk in our region by managing vegetation in the preserves with a focus on ecological health and wildland fire resilience, in alignment with our mission and policies.

In 2021, our new Wildland Fire Resiliency Program was approved, allowing us to proactively increase our ecologically sensitive vegetation management approximately six-fold over ten years. 

Before new projects begin, biologists and archeologists conduct surveys to identify and protect sensitive plants, animals and cultural sites. Non-native and invasive plants are prioritized for removal over more fire-adapted native plant species. 

This fact sheet provides a broad overview of our work to prevent, prepare for and respond to wildland fire. Read below for details. 

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Natural Resources Protection and Restoration
Natural Resources
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Wildland Fire Resiliency
Wildland Fire Resiliency

Goals and Objectives

Beginning in 2021, we're proactively expanding our environmentally sensitive vegetation management six-fold over the next decade with our Wildland Fire Resiliency Program in order to:  

  • Promote healthy, resilient, fire-adapted ecosystems
  • Reduce wildland fire risk
  • Facilitate the response of fire agencies

The Wildland Fire Resiliency Program has four main elements: 

  • Vegetation Management Plan
    Expanding environmentally sensitive vegetation management into new areas of our preserves for ecological health and public safety. 
  • Prescribed Fire Plan
    Reintroducing prescribed fire to Midpen’s land management toolbox in 2023, in partnership with Cal Fire. Further environmental analysis is needed. 
  • Preserve Maps to Assist Fire Agencies (Pre-plan and Resource Advisor maps)
    Updated and expanded preserve maps provide critical information to fire agencies responding to wildland fire events, including water sources, roads and gates and sensitive natural and cultural resources. 
  • Monitoring Plan
    Collecting scientific data and monitoring to ensure the program is adaptable and meeting our goals.

Stay informed!

Sign up to receive notifications about our Wildland Fire Resiliency Program.

Current Projects

As part of Midpen’s ecological approach to vegetation management, we are careful not to impact sensitive plants and wildlife. One way we do this is to avoid work during nesting bird season, which ends September 1.

Partners

Midpen staff work cooperatively with neighbors, fire agencies and regional fire safe councils on fire prevention and preparedness efforts. The Midpen board of directors has this identified this work as a objective within strategic goal of protecting the positive environmental values of open space land. 

Local fire departments (such as Palo Alto, Woodside Fire Protection District, and Santa Clara County), and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) are the agencies in our region that are responsible for fire suppression. Cal Fire’s role is supplemented by statewide mutual aid agreements for large wildland fire events.